Kia has unveiled a new vehicle that should feel equally at home off-road and in the city: the hybrid, all-wheel-drive Trail’ster Concept.
If it looks a lot like a Soul, that’s because it almost is. The Trail’ster is based on the popular urban crossover, though it does have a hefty host of differences. It looks a lot more rugged, for starters, thanks to 2.5 inches of extra ground clearance and aluminum skid plates, and its powertrain is truly intriguing.
Under the hood, the Kia Trail’ster Concept has a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, an electric motor, and a 1.2-kWh battery all working together to produce 220 horsepower and 285 lb-ft of torque. Thanks to the AWD system and that extra torquey punch from the electric motor, the concept should be able to hold its own on dirt, gravel, and snow quite nicely.
According to Kia, it’ll even be about 25% to 30% more efficient than the current 2.0-liter Soul (putting it at approximately 30 mpg city and 34 mpg highway), which is pretty crazy for an off-roader. Here’s to hoping a production version will get to Bill Walsh Kia sooner rather than later!